Rio Olympian Steven Donnelly withdraws from Seniors

Ballymena welterweight Steven Donnelly has pulled out of the running for the upcoming National Elite Senior Championships which are due to start at the National Stadium tomorrow.

Ireland’s best performngs Rio Olympian revealed that he has been suffering from a chest infection the past week and would not be able to safely make weight.

Donnelly, who had been aiming to win a second Senior title following his 2014 triumph, said that “I couldn’t train, which I needed to to make weight as I was staying 69kg.”

“Very confident I’d have won them again as I was flying in training. But anyway, that’s how it is.”

The All Saints fighter jokingly continued: “good luck to the rest, you know you got away lucky for now!”

Seven boxers remain at the weight following Donnelly’s departure.

These include Ulster amateur stars Brett McGinty, Aidan Walsh, and Tiernan Bradley, whom all medalled at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games.

At the other end of the scale, Fergal Redmond has been at the Elite level for the best part of a decade and may feel that now is finally his time.

Mourne’s Ross Boyle will look to build on his Ulster Elite win and the same can be said for IATBA champion Mark McCole, while Belfast fighter Nathan Watson has been tipped to impress.

Crumlin’s Peter Carr moves down from middleweight for the Championships, while Ger French, and Joe Nevin also feature in a weight that has been blown wide open.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie